EYEAFRICA TV: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain: The remains of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco were removed from his mausoleum in the Valley of the Fallen in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial earlier today.
Spain’s justice minister, an expert in forensics, a priest and twenty-two descendants of the former dictator were seen arriving at the basilica to attend the removal. Franco’s coffin was carried out of the religious building by family members and placed into a funeral car, where it received a priest’s blessing. It was then transported to a waiting helicopter, ahead of being taken to El Pardo-Mingorrubio state cemetery in Madrid for reburial. Franco will now laid to rest beside his late wife Carmen Polo.
The relocation fulfills a promise made by the socialist government, who argue his mausoleum glorifies a fascist who ruled the country for nearly four decades. The site houses victims from both sides of the Spanish Civil War and was built using forced labour from political prisoners. It has since become a shrine for the far-right.
The dictator’s resting place has been the subject of fierce debate in Spain, which transitioned to democracy in the late 1970s. The exhumation runs against the wishes of Franco’s family, who unsuccessfully challenged the reburial in the courts.